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Thugs and ThievesThe Differential Etiology of Violence$
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Joanne Savage and Kevin H. Wozniak

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780195393583

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195393583.001.0001

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Neighborhoods, Culture, and Violent Crime

Neighborhoods, Culture, and Violent Crime

(p.206) 10 Neighborhoods, Culture, and Violent Crime
Thugs and Thieves

Kevin H. Wozniak

Oxford University Press

The idea that community factors influence the violent behavior of individuals comes from classic sociological theory. In this chapter, we collected a comprehensive set of studies reporting an empirical association between community characteristics (social disorganization, social networks, collective efficacy) and violent crime. In addition, we examine the qualitative literature on violent subcultures to glean evidence related to the differential etiology of violence. For the most part, indicators of social disorganization are not more consistently associated with violent than nonviolent offending, though we examine some analytic practices that might account for these null findings. We conclude that the most promising differential predictors of violence are likely to be measures of disorder. We also argue that emerging evidence indicates that subcultural beliefs may influence criminal behavior in a crime-specific way, though this preliminary conclusion is largely based on a small number of qualitative studies and requires further exploration.

Keywords:   Neighborhoods, Communities, Subculture, Violence, Violent Crime, Social Disorganization, Disorder

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